Adam van Koeverden Issues Statement on Blackface Controversy

Liberal Candidate Adam van Koeverden

By: Laura Steiner

Milton’s Liberal Party Candidate Adam van Koeverden has issued a statement on the Blackface controversy.  “I accept the Prime Minister’s apology, I thought it was genuine and heartfelt,” van Koeverden posted on Facebook.  

Time Magazine released images of Trudeau dressed in a costume for an Arabian Nights’ themed party at a school where he taught.  His face, and arms were painted black.  “It’s up to Canadians, particularly ones who have experienced racism, to decide for themselves if the forgive him,” van Koeverden said.  The photos were dated 2001. Blackface is a type of makeup used by actors to change their skin colour.  The technique is widely condemned as racist.

The article was released Wednesday.  There have been three more photos, and one video found of similar behavior since.   The Conservative Party says someone passed them the video, and the forwarded it to Global News for verification.  Scheer called Trudeau out on his behavior Thursday. “He was specifically asked if there were other instances where he engaged in that type of racist behaviour and he indicated there was only one other instance.  Now we know there (were) at least three,” he told CBC News.   The Liberals released videos Scheer or Conservative candidates espousing controversial views in the opening days of the campaign. One Winnipeg area candidate resigned.  Two NDP, and one Green Party candidate also stepped aside due to comments, or social media posts.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made an appearance on Newstalk 1010 where he was asked if he’d be able to face Trudeau at upcoming leaders’ debates.  Singh responded: “It’s going to be tough.  To be honest with you, I don’t really know how to react.  This is someone who so casually mocked the reality for so many people and has hurt of Canadians.”  Singh is the first person of colour to lead a national party. Election Day is October 21, 2019.